In further education, there are so many options, such as going to university, employment, or apprenticeships. There are so many paths to take, that it can be hard to remember them all, and you may be overwhelmed by the choices. One of the paths that we will be exploring is getting a degree, without going to university.
In this article we will be looking at a lot of the different paths that you can take. If you want to find out about these paths, you should read on.
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What are the alternative ways to get a degree?
Below are all the ways that you can get a degree without going to university. You should read them and think about whether this is something that you want to do, and whether you think it will be the best opportunity for you. All these alternatives can solve many issues with the traditional campus life.
1. Degree apprenticeships
Degree apprenticeships are offered by employers, after they partner with an educational facility, like a university. It is for those aged 16 and above, lasts 3-6 years, and is a level 6 or 7 qualification. The student will spend 80% of their time at their workplace and will work as a regular employee of the company.
The other 20% will be time to study towards their qualification through a provider. This is usually a university but can be other services.
Not only that but the degree is completely sponsored by the company, and you can usually get employment straight after your qualification. Along with this, the person will also get paid a regular salary when they work.
For the 2022-23 tax year, the minimum wage for an apprenticeship is £4.81 per hour. You can find out about this, by clicking on this link to the government’s page.
These apprenticeships are targeted to those without a lot of experience and knowledge of an industry. If you have qualifications of a similar level, in the same industry, you will not be eligible.
Others may be the need for a level 3 qualification, like an A-Level or a BTEC, but this varies by employer. To find out more about degree apprenticeships, you can click on this link to a Think Student article, or this link to the UCAS page.
2. The Open University
If you are not the biggest fan of campus life, The Open University is perfect for you. It is like any other university and offers a lot of degree level qualifications.
Its main difference is the fact that its primary delivery of its education, is online. This allows for a lot of flexibility in learning, and offers the same modules that are worth credits, and examinations.
A lot of people are not able to attend university due to other factors in their life. If this is the case, you will find this university is perfect. It is very flexible and allows you to do things like work full time, or care for another person while you study.
At the end, you will get the degree that you want. A lot of its courses are from reading material online and attending video chats. You can find out more about The Open University, by clicking on this link to a Think Student article.
According to this page on the Open University’s website, a full-time degree worth 360 credits through 6 modules, will cost you £19,368, which is £6,456 a year.
The impression, that is gained by employers from hearing about distance learning, is not always the greatest. However, most employers do not believe this, and will consider the OU course, the same as a university course. You can click on this link to a Think Student article on this.
3. Other distance learning degrees
Distance learning courses are learning the usual courses from your own home. There are a lot of universities that offer these online courses other than the Open University.
The courses taught are the same as those attending in-person university classes, and the same qualification is achieved. This has also been seen to be cheaper than normal degrees.
Distance learning is perfect for those will busy or complicated lives. This is also great for international students, who want to study in the UK without having to travel to another country.
To find out more about distance learning, you can click on this link to the UCAS page.
4. Higher apprenticeships
A higher apprenticeship will get you a level 4 or above qualification depending on where you live in the UK. At level 5, this is equivalent to a foundation degree and at level 4 it is equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree and some offer all the way up to a master’s degree. It usually takes 2-5 years to complete, and you will have to balance the work-study life.
Similar to a degree apprenticeship, you will be working a full time job, and getting paid, while studying towards a qualification. The tuition fees are covered by the employer and can be a great way into employment.
They are also great for learning and gaining practical experience and becoming qualified for the role. To find out more about higher apprenticeships, you can click on this link to the UCAS page.
5. School leaver programmes
School leaver programmes are similar to the apprenticeships mentioned previously. However, as the name suggests, they are aimed at school leavers.
It allows the person to go straight into a place of work and also learn at the same time. It usually lasts between 1-5 years and is quite flexible.
In doing this, you will be able to gain valuable experience and skills needed to progress into the world of work. Usually after receiving your qualification, you will be able to go into a full-time job. To find out more about this, you can click on this link to the UCAS page.
Should you go to university?
Whether you should go to university is a hard question. There are so many different paths and opportunities available for you that the question you should ask yourself is, do you want to go to university?
If not, you can do other things, like find apprenticeships and employment. From this you can earn a lot more experience and valuable skills needed for the future.
You may want to consider other things as well, such as funds and your time. To find out another student’s opinion, you can click on this link to a Think Student article.
It can be hard to realise all of the opportunities there are when you are overwhelmed by choices. Hopefully in this article, some light has been shed on some of those opportunities.
If you are looking into apprenticeships, you can click on this link to the ultimate guide by UCAS, or this link to finding an apprenticeship, internship or other jobs, also by UCAS. Wherever you go, we wish you luck on your findings.